U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez to sit out Billie Jean King Cup

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TORONTO — U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez will not be part of Canada’s team for the Billie Jean King Cup finals next month.

Tennis Canada confirmed that Fernandez pulled out of the team’s roster for the Nov. 1-6 matches in Prague and is being replaced by Carol Zhao.

The other members of the country’s squad are Rebecca Marino, Gabriela Dabrowski and Francoise Abanda.

Canada is scheduled to open the finals by facing 2019 champion France and Russia. The 2020 edition of the event was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fernandez is set to play for the Orange County Breakers in World TeamTennis, which runs Nov. 13-28 at Indian Wells, California. She was eliminated in singles and doubles from the hard-court combined ATP and WTA tournament there this week.

“It’s been a long season,” she said after her loss Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open. “We’re just going to see what the body says, what the mind says, and we’ll go from there.”

The 19-year-old Fernandez turned in a breakthrough performance at the U.S. Open, making it all the way to the final before losing to another unseeded teenager, Emma Raducanu.

Fernandez arrived at Flushing Meadows ranked No. 73 and left at a career-best No. 28 after beating defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round, followed by 2016 champion Angelique Kerber and top-five seeds Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka.

Alycia Parks reaches 1st WTA quarterfinal in Ostrava

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — American qualifier Alycia Parks is having quite the breakthrough tournament in Ostrava.

The 21-year-old Parks earned her first win against a top-10 ranked opponent by beating fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 at the Agel Open on Thursday to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal.

The 144th-ranked Parks ousted former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the opening round – her first win against a top-20 opponent – and showed off her power by hitting 59 winners against Sakkari, compared to just nine for her opponent.

“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me through the match,” Parks said.

Parks will next face former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced via walkover when Belinda Bencic withdrew with a left foot injury.

Caty McNally, another American qualifier who is playing doubles with Parks in Ostrava, also reached the last eight by beating wild-card entry Karolina Muchova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. McNally is also into her first WTA quarterfinal and will face top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who advanced Wednesday.

Djokovic beats Van de Zandschulp to reach Astana quarters

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Add Botic van de Zandschulp to the long list of players to have been schooled by Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic eased past Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in his first career meeting with the 27-year-old Dutchman to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.

Van de Zandschulp earned one break point in each set but couldn’t seriously threaten Djokovic, who is looking for a second straight indoor hardcourt title after winning in Tel Aviv last week.

“(In the) second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” Djokovic said. “Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”

Djokovic will next face Karen Khachanov, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. If the 21-time Grand Slam champion gets past that one, he could come up against fellow former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The second-seeded Russian beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-3, 6-2 to move one match away from a potential rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, when Medvedev beat Djokovic to deny his attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Medvedev will first have to beat Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced Wednesday.